Dow Chemical Co. has agreed to sell its ANGUS Chemical Co. business to a private equity firm for $1.215 billion.

The sale is part of an ongoing effort by Dow to improve shareholder returns, reduce debt and fund future growth.

ANGUS specializes in the manufacture of nitroalkanes and their derivatives, which are added to products in a wide range of industries including paints and coatings, life sciences and biopharma, metalworking, personal care, pharmaceuticals, water treatment and oil and gas.

The business will be purchased by Golden Gate Capital, whose managing director in the industrials sector, Rajeev Amara, welcomed the deal.

"ANGUS is widely recognized as one of the world's leading specialty chemical companies, and we are excited by the growth potential of this business," he commented.

Andrew N. Liveris, Dow's chairman and CEO, said that this transaction is in line with the company's strategy of shifting its portfolio away from assets that are no longer a strategic fit and optimizing their value.

"We remain committed to streamlining our portfolio aligned to our market-driven, integrated strategy and will continue to pursue additional portfolio actions in our relentless pursuit of rewarding shareholders," Liveris added.

The sale of ANGUS includes its business headquarters and R&D facility in Buffalo Grove, Illinois; manufacturing facilities located in Sterlington, Louisiana and Ibbenbueren, Germany; a packaging facility in Niagara Falls, New York; as well as the associated business, inventory, customer contracts, process technology, business know-how and certain intellectual property.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015.